DACS

A DIG­I­TAL-TO-ANA­LOGUE CON­VERTER IS A MOD­ERN HI-FI MUST

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - The Only Products Worth Considering -

Ar­cam minib­link £90

Best Blue­tooth re­ceiver, Awards 2015 This re­ceiver has se­ri­ous dy­namic clout, with a zingy and fluid rhythm. The 3.5mm ana­logue out­put means an adap­tor is needed for trad hi-fi. In­puts Blue­tooth Size 25 x 30 x 40mm

Au­dio­quest Drag­on­fly Black v1.5 £90

July 2016 Cheaper, and with im­proved sound and com­pat­i­bil­ity, this is ar­guably the best Drag­on­fly yet. The 96khz play­back limit is a dis­ap­point­ment though. In­puts USB Size 60 x 20 x 10mm Res­o­lu­tion Up to 24-bit/96khz

Au­dio­quest Drag­on­fly Red £170

Au­gust 2016 The more-ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive to the Drag­on­fly Black, this is a marked im­prove­ment over the orig­i­nal, sound­ing more so­phis­ti­cated and sub­tler. In­puts USB Size 60 x 20 x 10mm Res­o­lu­tion Up to 24-bit/96khz

Chord Mojo £400

Best DAC £400-£800, Awards 2015 The ma­jor­ity of the £1400 Hugo’s per­for­mance for a frac­tion of the price. An en­thu­si­as­tic per­former that stays re­fined and su­perbly bal­anced. In­puts USB, opt, coax Size 20 x 60 x 80mm Res 32-768KHZ/DSD 512

Oppo HA-2 £250

Best DAC un­der £400, Awards 2015 The range of in­puts makes this ideal to use with any lap­top or smart­phone. The en­gag­ing per­for­mance and de­tail re­trieval is re­mark­able at the price. In­puts USB, op­ti­cal Size 160 x 70 x 10mm Res to 384khz, 16/24/32-bit

Au­di­o­lab M-DAC £600

June 2015 A good desk­top al­ter­na­tive to the Chord Mojo, with plenty more sock­ets and fea­tures. Smooth bal­ance, fluid dy­nam­ics and sub­tle de­tail. In­puts USB, opt, coax Size 6 x 25 x 25cm Res Up to 24-bit/192khz

Au­di­o­lab M-DAC+ £800

Au­gust 2016 Au­di­o­lab’s fol­low up to the M-DAC gets a great deal right with a sound that’s neat, tidy and ex­pan­sive. The M-DAC+ de­mands your at­ten­tion. In­puts 2 x coax, 2 x opt Size 11 x 25 x 29cm Res Up to 32-bit/384khz

Chord 2Qute £1000

Best DAC £800-£1200, Awards 2015 The 2Qute’s in­sight, ac­cu­racy and dy­namic punch out­shine ri­vals with aplomb. The colour­ful dis­play and the shiny chas­sis con­tinue to wow us. In­puts USB, opt, coax Size 7 x 16 x 4cm Res­o­lu­tion Up to 32-bit/384khz

Chord Hugo £1400

Best DAC £1200+, Awards 2015 The Hugo ben­e­fits from the ge­nius cir­cuitry in­form­ing Chord’s lat­est prod­ucts. It has su­perb tim­ing, re­mark­able clar­ity and plenty of power. In­puts 2x USB, opt, coax Size 2 x 13 x 10cm Res­o­lu­tion Up to 384khz

Naim DAC-V1 £1350

Fe­bru­ary 2016 Naim’s en­try DAC is typ­i­cal of the com­pany’s sonic sig­na­ture, com­bin­ing a bal­anced tone with strong dy­nam­ics and fine or­gan­i­sa­tion. In­puts USB, 2x opt, 3 x coax Size 9 x 21 x 32cm Res 24-bit/384khz

Chord DAVE £7995

Au­gust 2016 The uniquely named DAVE costs a lot but we’d ar­gue it’s the best DAC money can buy. Build qual­ity is ex­cel­lent and the sound is very spe­cial. In­puts 4 x coax, 2 x opt, XLR Size 6 x 34 x 15cm Res Up to 768khz

Chord Hugo TT £2995

Septem­ber 2015 This ‘ta­ble-top’ ver­sion is the ba­sic Hugo de­sign, but su­per­charged. The fin­ish is gor­geous, and it sounds bet­ter than its cheaper sib­lings. In­puts USB, opt, coax Size 5 x 24 x 23cm Res Up to 32-bit/384khz

TAD DA1000 £11,995

May 2015 It’s mas­sive and it costs an eye-wa­ter­ing £12,000, but this is a bril­liant per­former. Ag­ile and re­fined, it han­dles low level de­tail with fi­nesse. In­puts USB, opt, coax, AES/EBU Size 9 x 27 x 27cm Res Up to 384khz

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